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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    10 plus years - out of state - worthless check

    What is the name of your state? Alabama

    I currently live in Georgia and have been here for 10 years. Prior to moving here I lived in Alabama for a very brief time. I'm usually very meticulous about my checkbook and keeping things balanced.

    I received a letter in the mail today for a District Attorney in Alabama regarding a worthless check. This is the absolute first I have every heard of it. The letter has me extremely concerned. This is the letter verbetim:

    This is to notify you that the Jefferson County, Alabama District Attorney's Worthless Check Unit holds a warrent for your arrest for NWNI (negotiating a worthless check).

    Previous efforts to allow you to settle this matter were not successful, so your name has been entered into the Alabama Criminal Justice Information System. This system is connected to the National Criminal Information System. This warrant will show up on any criminal background check ran by potential employers, the military, certain graduate programs, such as nursing or law school, or during any criminal investigation.

    If you wish to pay your case and accept deferred prosecution under Alabama Law, Act 140.20 No. 84-704 (which allows the warrant to be withdrawn), you may do so. However, if you are picked up on the warrant before making voluntary restitution, you will be jailed, and your case will be handled strictly through Jefferson County District Court. All additional fines and court costs will then be applied.
    Then it has the phone number, etc. Now..here is my dilemna. I never knew of a worthless check at all - this is the first I have heard of it. I haven't lived there in 10 years and for sure haven't written any checks there in that long or longer. I moved here in May of 96 and have been here since. I have been at this same address where this letter was received for 5 years. Do I have no recourse in this? Don't they have to show me proof? I am positive I never wrote a check for more than 100$ if even that. (Those were post college days and spending 25$ was a lot at the time.) So my question is, to me, this form letter is branding me a criminal and bascially bullying me into paying for something that I was unaware of. Do I have any legal rights in this? What is the statute of limitations for worthless checks in Alabama? I tried to look it up but couldn't find anything about checks specifically.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you all can give. I'll be calling the DA's office on Tuesday to try to sort this all out so anything at all that would help me understand what is going on and if I have any rights would be very helpful.

    Thanks!What is the name of your state?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Do I have any legal rights in this?
    Of course you do. I suggest you actually CALL the Jefferson County DA's office and ASK about the details. WHEN was the alleged check written, to whom, etc. You DO have the right to find out what the charges are against you and for what.

    SOL on bad checks, per the FDIC is 3 years, so you REALLY need to find out what is going on. Is it possible a check was stolen from you ? There is always that possiblity.

    First step is to find out what EXACTLY is behind this, then go from there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thanks for the reply! Here is what I found out:

    The check was written in June of '96. I closed my checking account and moved out of state at the end of June / beginning of July that year. There was at the time I left enough money left in the account for any outstanding checks. The bank was supposed to close the acct after all the checks cleared. They closed it before this check made it back in. Now here is the kicker - the check amount is $ 24.01. The company it was written to is no longer in business (not for quite a few years). The DA's office wants me to send in a check for $119.01. They said the original warrant was issued in October of '96. I find that very hard to believe since I have clearly had to update my driver's license, change bank accounts, had background checks ran for employment (at one point I worked for a City Offical, at another I worked at a high level payroll company - both of which did the full blown background checks prior to hiring me).

    To me, it sounds like the Birmingham DA's Office is running their own Collections Agency scam on the side. I will pay them the money. I just really don't think it is fair. I would much rather send the amount to the company that I originally wrote the check to, but as stated they are no longer in business.

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